New Version Of Windows, New Version Of EU Antitrust Complaint

from the play-it-again-sam dept

With its long-awaited Vista operating system finally on the verge of launching, Microsoft finds itself, once again, in a familiar situation. A group of its rivals, including Sun, IBM and Adobe are complaining to the EU that the company should be flagged for antitrust violations. The group alleges that the adoption of Vista paves the way for the company to extend its dominance to the internet, and that the company is poised to subvert the dominant HTML standard with a standard of its own. This is a pretty bold claim, but there doesn't seem to be much backing it up. As evidence that this is Microsoft's plan, the group notes that Microsoft will include a document authoring tool with Vista that will compete with Adobe, but use Microsoft's own standards, a move it likens to Microsoft's bundling of the Windows Media Player, which the EU had problems with. As in the case of Windows Media Player, which hardly forced that standard on users, there's no reason why a user can't simply download an alternative authoring tool. Instead, it just sounds like Adobe doesn't want to compete with Microsoft's offering. Then, to top off the complaint, the group blithely adds that Vista will result in less consumer choice, a dependence on Microsoft for fixing bugs and, of course, higher prices. In other words, they're making the same complaint that people have made for the past several years, during which time several competitors have emerged to battle Microsoft in some way or another. Another thing that makes the argument look weak is that the group chose to register the complaint in the EU, which has been much more hostile to Microsoft in recent years than the US has been. If the complaint were strong, then there's no reason for them not to bring it up in the US as well. If you look at the market today, there's no question that there are a number of strong competitors to Microsoft, particularly on the internet, but, the message coming from these particular companies, bringing the complaint, is that they need help.


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  1.  
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    Stu, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:19pm

    As all big companies do, they're trying to get governments to protect them.

    I think governments should protect consumers (of all kinds) from vendors, rather than protecting vendors from competition.

     

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  2.  
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    Steak, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:29pm

    Maybe

    Maybe that's because EU judges are so much less apt to respond to bribery than American judges. Of course, I don't really intend to validate the EU's claims, most of which are crap, but the past results of judgements in this country have been quite far away from "justice".

     

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    Eeqmcsq, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:29pm

    "there's no reason why a user can't simply download an alternative authoring tool"

    That assumes the user needs to look for an alternative. If Windows provides a document authoring tool, then the average user will use that one, since it is already available to him, rather than go out and search for one. That makes it much harder for Adobe to compete.

     

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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    running to mummy

    Microsoft has already blown holes in many standards, I don't think it takes much arguing that Microsoft are bad for standards in any analysis.

    As evidence that this is Microsoft's plan, the group notes that Microsoft will include a document authoring tool with Vista that will compete with Adobe

    Yes, it's silly. I have never really understood Europes position on bundled software. The argument over MediaPlayer was more complex and subtle though. It was intrinsically built into the operating system in a way that meant it was very hard to do without. There is no clear definition of an operating system, outside of Tannembaum, which satisfies this line between what MS Windows really is and a bare OS. Windows is not really an operating system, it is a sophsticated applications suite integrated into a near monolith. Since there's probably nothing stopping Adobe software running their competeing authoring tool on Vista I don't see how this deserves an anti-competitive accusation.

    Vista will result in less consumer choice, a dependence on Microsoft for fixing bugs and, of course, higher prices.

    I think all those claims have merit, based on what I've read about Vista. It seems to be an extrememly closed system to 3rd party developers. It won't be like Windows was with a healthy ecosystem of small developers. This time MS are really locking the gate on code that isn't sanctioned by them and presumably licensed by very expensive barriers to entry.

    Another thing that makes the argument look weak is that the group chose to register the complaint in the EU, which has been much more hostile to Microsoft in recent years than the US has been. If the complaint were strong, then there's no reason for them not to bring it up in the US as well.

    Yeah that looks weak. It's almost an admission that the claims would fall on deaf ears in the USA. Maybe it's just a ploy of picking a domain where they will win sympathy first to embolden them to attack the more difficult ground afterwards.

    If you look at the market today, there's no question that there are a number of strong competitors to Microsoft, particularly on the internet, but, the message coming from these particular companies, bringing the complaint, is that they need help.

    I wish they wouldn't. It weakens the long term campaign against Microsoft (who I hate incidentally). I am a firm believer in the "let it get worse so it can get better" philosophy. Let Microsoft dig their own grave as they lock out the rest of the world. As more and more individuals and companies run into problems with Vista because of interoperability issues and product lock-in it helps push them away from Microsoft. Let them slip between Microsofts fingers as they tighten their grip.

     

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  5.  
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    JJ, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 3:57pm

    Re:

    ""there's no reason why a user can't simply download an alternative authoring tool" That assumes the user needs to look for an alternative. If Windows provides a document authoring tool, then the average user will use that one, since it is already available to him, rather than go out and search for one. That makes it much harder for Adobe to compete." The way I see it, is that if MS wants to include tools in it's OS, then let them. I don't see texas instruments suing them for calc.exe. Is mead suing them for notepad.exe? All of the tools help improve the OS experience. Symantec wants to sue them for tools that the OS actually needs like antivirus, disk defrag, registry cleanup, antispyware. These are all tools that every OS should come with. Symmantec made a lot of money cleaning up Microsofts mistakes, and should be happy. Instead they want to force MS into being a defective product so that they can sell bandages. Windows Media player is another example. Today, we expect that the OS has multimedia capability. This means being able to play movies, listen to sound files, view image files... Companies should adapt and create new products or superior products rather than suing a company for providing extras. That being said, I would never use a Microsoft HTML editor. Ultraedit by IDM is my preference.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Maybe

    I guess- if your definition of "justice"
    is agreeing with your point of view.
    Geez...

    I think the EU court has done an exceptional job
    at implementing a new era of protectionism.

     

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  7.  
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    Overcast, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 4:43pm

    Plenty of alternatives to all of it out there.

    Word -- www.abiword.com - it's free
    Excel -- I think google's got a spreadsheet app, dunno, sure you can find one

    Etc..
    etc..

    Not Microsoft's fault many users aren't motivated to use other stuff.

    Seriously, Adobe PDF reader has GOT to be the slowest app on my PC. Seriously - they RAKE you over the coals for the price of their apps. I mean Acrobat cost MORE than Windows - and they wonder why it doesn't sell well??

    Sun - gimmie a break, it's probably about halfway on the list of overly complex OS's to use. Almost every sun admin I know still uses the command line... eg: AT&T System V. Ever seen the price on a Sun Computer? It's sickening. Compare to FreeBSD, MAC, Linux Flavors... Even commercial ones that cost $$$

    IBM - lol, they had their chance, got real GREEDY and wouldn't share their arcgitecture with anyone, so other companies came up with a new solution. And their current PC's are about the most expensive on the market, and not worth all that.. Dell's leaving them in the DUST. Of course, it doesn't help when you sell your hardware division to China either..

    So what do all these companies have in common?

    They charge too much, their stuff isn't worth what you're paying for it. Sure, there's a market for each, mostly corporate. But I know few people - even some developers who actually have a Sun Computer personally.

    They are only whining because their failed vision cost them all dearly.

    Get a clue - and try charging a fair price. Even at Vista's inflated cost, it's still a better app overall than Solaris, OS/2, or Adobe's suite of inflated rip-off apps. Sure, it's not bad stuff, but when comparing to the price..

    lol, and I agree on Symantec too - I'd had Viruses that used less system resources up than Norton!!

     

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  8.  
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    Reed, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Best price is no cost

    "Get a clue - and try charging a fair price. Even at Vista's inflated cost, it's still a better app overall than Solaris, OS/2, or Adobe's suite of inflated rip-off apps. Sure, it's not bad stuff, but when comparing to the price.."

    Vista is not a fair price by any means. If you setup a fully loaded system with all the bell and whistles (MS Office, Good Burning Software, etc) you could easily spend several hundred dollars. What about that is fair price considering it is the same old sh*t repackaged over and over again.

    Computers are like tools and Microsoft wants to tell you how to use your tool and then charge you to use it. Sure, if your just in love with the brand "Microsoft" like some people love Snap-on tools maybe it all makes sense.

    For me, I just look to open source as a way out of the hell Microsoft has created.

     

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  9.  
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    xxdesmus, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 7:50pm

    S.S.D.D

    S.S.D.D stands for Same S**t Different Day in case you were wondering. This "case" has absolutely no merit, and this is the precise reason why they avoided the US courts like the plague. They know they would not even stand a chance in a halfway decent court system. The EU has a bug up its ass since day one towards Microsoft and these companies are simply playing to this existing bias. The sad thing is that the EU will probably listen to these companies for no other reason than because they already dislike Microsoft. I really love to see where/how Microsoft is planning on replacing HTML. Really, show me some facts. God knows you can't be talking about the XML based document format because that has nothing to do with HTML. Sounds like a load of BS if you ask me.

     

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  10.  
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    zr, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 8:13pm

    can you imagine sony, pioneer or some other car stereo maker taking GM to court complaining that they are not fair in only offering one brand of stereo in their cars as sold on the lot. makes no sense to me. if you want a quality product then you go and buy it.

    back in the days of win 3.1, almost every system you bought had ms works on it. did that stop people from buying word or wordperfect, no. why because they were better products and were worth it.

    adobe pdf's are a standard but adobe has done little to improve it. i went to download acrobat reader and it is 27mb. BLOATED WASTE OF DRIVE SPACE. the program takes forever to load up and is constantly nagging me to update it. adobe should be worried as i'm sure ms will make a better product.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:12pm

    There are many alternatives

    As far as PDF readers go I've given up on Adobe.
    Foxit reader is about 1.5M, much much faster,
    hasn't crashed so far.

    I haven't found any MS application that I couldn't
    replace and with programs like XPlite I can remove
    those embedded in the OS, for the most part.

    I do like excel and the jet db engine rocks. MS
    does do some things quite well.

     

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  12.  
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    ScytheNoire, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 11:35pm

    can they also sue to release DirectX 10 for other OS's, so people on Mac's, Linux and other versions of Windows can play new games in all their glory.

     

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  13.  
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    xor, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 1:15am

    Monopoly

    I think many of you commenting this article have no idea of what you're talking about.

    The key word here gentleman is "Monopoly".

    When a company has a monopoly on a given market sector, it CAN NOT use that monopoly to force itself into other sectors, this is so to protect consumers, and competitiveness.
    Linux distributions and Apple can go ahead and bundle software with the OS because that will not force themselves into other sectors, they are still too small, Microsoft on the other hand will force itself, because it is a Monopoly. The examples of notepad and calc are just ridiculous because they aren't competing with any sector, they don't matter.

    Other companies that sell stand-alone products will be hurt because the general user will not bother to look for a better solution, and the closed OS will make programming of stand-alone alternatives, harder and more expensive. The users will be hurt because better products will become more expensive and when dominance is established by Microsoft, they can just stop improving the software, and charge whatever they want for it. Like they did and are doing with Office. Like they did with Internet Explorer when it crushed Netscape and like it's trying to do yet again to Firefox by resuming development of Internet Explorer. Think! How long did it take for Microsoft to restart development? Right about the time when Firefox started gaining market share.

    Wake Up!!!

    Microsoft is taking advantage of it's market position to stuff their pockets, it's obvious. The arguments the Microsoft isn't doing any damage by providing the user with more software, or a better experience can only be defended by someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. If Microsoft really wanted to provide the user with better/free software. They could just do what was suggested to them years ago by the EU, place the products into different companies. And make the products available freely, just has long as they are not bundled. But did they do that? No! Why not?

    And why does Europe complain about this and the US doesn't? Check the US presidential campaign contributions. Check the amounts of money Microsoft spends on lobbying firms in Washington.

    I'm not naive enough to believe that corporations like IBM, Sun and Adobe aren't "contributing" in some way to several EU politicians as well, but the fact of the matter is, they aren't hurting the consumer nearly as much with those "contributions" as Microsoft is.



    P.S. Don't nag me about my spelling/syntax, English is not my native tongue.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 3:14am

    Re: running to mummy

    "Another thing that makes the argument look weak is that the group chose to register the complaint in the EU, which has been much more hostile to Microsoft in recent years than the US has been. If the complaint were strong, then there's no reason for them not to bring it up in the US as well.

    Yeah that looks weak..."

    Are you really trying to say that those smart lawyers that cost so much won't (and shouldn't) present their case wherever and however they have the greatest chance of success ? !!!!!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    Re: Maybe

    Yep, because judges who violated judicial conducts codes, and clearly had decided Microsoft was wrong before the cases is the best scenario.

    There is no evidence of bribery like you suggest, there is enough crap that they pull without people clouding the argument by making crap up.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 7:05am

    Re:

    Funny Ubuntu does the same damned thing, and the only thing I can say is I am glad. Seems Apple does the same thing and all they get for it is praise. But when MS does it, throw their a**es in jail and break them up....

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 7:19am

    Re: Monopoly

    You don't see the fallacy in your own argument? IE gave users what they wanted, Netscape thought they had the best system and didn't change. They died for the most part. MS stopped on IE and got their a**es handed to them.

    Now they are working on IE again, it is called competition and market dynamics, why the f**k is this so hard to understand? If what you say is true, Opera and Firefox would not be used by anyone, but we know that couldn't be farther from the truth.

    The reality is the lazy consumer allows monopolies, end of story. "I have something that works, why should I go elsewhere?" That statement makes sense. "This app sucks, but what else can I do?" This statement allows a monopoly to thrive.

    Every single piece of every MS software has had competition, because a consumer does not choose to the use the competing product does not mean MS is being evil.

    Windows --> MacOS, Linux, Unix
    Notepad --> Textpad
    Any Office Program --> Wordperfect Suite, Lotus 1-2-3(before it became crap and died), Open Office
    IE --> Firefox, Opera
    DirectX --> OpenGL

    And the list goes on. Educate consumers about their choices and monopolies will not exist.

     

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  18.  
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    xor, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Monopoly

    Just two things.

    This "competition" and "market dynamics" you mentioned took longer then it could have, hence the time wasted hurt the consumers. So the point stands.

    Second, if what i say is true, Microsoft would have established market dominance, market dominance doesn't mean the competitors don't have ANY clients. You misinterpreted what i wrote.

    Lastly a note about stupid/lazy consumers.
    They are the majority of consumers today as they have always been and always will be. It's a lost battle to try to change that, the only course of action to mitigate this reality is consumer protection.

     

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  19.  
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    rstr5105, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    RE #13

    Hey XOR, First off is that short for eXclusive Or?

    What you seem to be saying is that because I have MS Word on my box here, that I can't have the Open Office installed on the same box.

    Wait, that's right too, compared to word, OpenOffice SUCKS, why would I use it?

    Further, although .pdf is owned by adobe, isn't that competition to the .doc extension? Hmm.... Keyword, Competition.

    From wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn


    (economics) a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller; "a monopoly on silver"; "when you have a monopoly you can ask any price you like"
    exclusive control or possession of something; "They have no monopoly on intelligence"


    MS is NOT the only seller in the market, and I don't claim they make the best products either.

    They do however set certain levels of expectation.

    You know why Open Office Sucks?
    Because my computer-illiterate mother can't sit down behind it and use it.

    You know why MS Office sells, because people like her can.

    Hell, MS Started with that little paper clip guy in the lower right corner, guess what I now see in the lower right corner of OO on my Linux box. I'll give you a hint, it's small, metal, useful for holding a collection of papers together, and it ain't a staple.

    Although Microsoft holds an ungodly amount of the market, it's because up till Vista (which I admit looks like crap) they've constantly innovated their systems.

    They've provided functionality that was only LATER immitated by their competitors.

    Bundling IE with windows? Why not? Their both MS products. They didn't raise the price of windows for this bundled software. So what if they want to include one of their own products with Vista? So what if they want to create a competitor for .PDF? It sounds to me like these companies suing MS don't want to innovate, but they DO want to cash in on MS windows.

    F*ck them.
    F*ck MS
    F*ck *nix

    Just use what you're comfortable with.

    As a side note, I use both Windows and linux. I prefer windows for things such as Gaming, Word Processing etc etc etc. My linux box is used primarily because I like the command line functionality, something I've always felt was missing from windows, after win 95.

    Everything has a niche. Linux is exceptional at running a server, by far better than windows is. Further, the GUI on a linux server is far more intuitive than an MS one. Did MS sue the *nix distros for being more competitive in that field, I think not.

     

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  20.  
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    rstr5105, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 1:30pm

    OT for a minute

    I wonder why we always get so heated about MS related articles?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Monopoly

    "Lastly a note about stupid/lazy consumers.
    They are the majority of consumers today as they have always been and always will be. It's a lost battle to try to change that, the only course of action to mitigate this reality is consumer protection."

    this sounds similar to the argument that since parents are getting lazy, we should pass a bunch of laws to start raising their children for them. it shouldn't be the government's job to protect the consumers if the only thing stopping them from protecting themselves is laziness. if the customer's had no means to protect themselves (you know, like in a *real* monopoly), then yea, pass some laws. but when competition *does* exist, then no, the government should stay out. the only reason these companies are getting upset is that they had a good thing going competing with MS, but then MS decided to compete back. people complain that MS is full of vulnerabilities, but once they include stuff to stop that, people throw a hissy-fit.

    if other companies can do the exact same thing MS is getting yelled at for, then thats hypocritical.

    home depot was yelled at a lot for being a "monopoly"... people said it was *impossible* to compete with them, but oh my, what's this? what is this new place called "lowe's"? is it competition where people said it was impossible?

    the reason windows has its market share is the same reason the iPod has its market share; their respective companies made *really* good business decisions.

     

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  22.  
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    mr, Jan 27th, 2007 @ 11:19pm

    What's that sound like?

    "They are the majority of consumers today as they have always been and always will be. It's a lost battle to try to change that, the only course of action to mitigate this reality is consumer protection."

    Hmm.. Sounds like socialism/communism, looks like communism, smells like communism.. Must be communism.

    Thank you, asshole, for suggesting free citizens in free countries can't make the intelligent choice to keep, buy, or sell any product thats placed on the market.

    Take a visit to a fine place such as Myanmar if such choices trouble you. You won't find many choices once there. And I wont have to listen to your pro-government prattle, either. Go get an education, and liberal-artsy History, English, Journalism, etc doesn't count.

     

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  23.  
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    doubledoh, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 11:07am

    Re: Monopoly

    Definition of Monopoly:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/monopoly

    I like the American Heritage Dictionary's definition and example:

    "Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: "Monopoly frequently ... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman)."

    Please note the word "exclusive" (and also note that the only time you'll ever encounter a real monopoly is when the GOVERNMENT grants one). In NO way can Microsoft's position in ANY market (OS's, Office Apps, Gaming, Mobile Software, etc) be considered "exclusive." As a matter of fact, Microsoft has lost market share in the OS market (Web Servers and Home Users) since the height of their popularity in the mid to late nineties. Anyone in the world is free to download a Linux distrobution for free, or buy an Apple computer. In fact, over the last few years, both Apple and Linux have taken small chunks out of Microsoft's supposedly "exclusive" market.

    Just because some completely ignorant judge labels a company a "monopolist" does NOT mean he is right. If you have choice, there is no monopoly.

     

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  24.  
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    Reed, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    Re: What's that sound like?

    "Hmm.. Sounds like socialism/communism, looks like communism, smells like communism.. Must be communism."

    A little off topic here, but communism and socialism has little to do with each other.

    Wake-up and smell the coffee, the US is a socialist country, every hear of Social Security? Hmmm how about TANF, WIC, or any of the other hundreds of social programs we have...?

    By your reasoning we are of course communists I guess?

    "Thank you, asshole, for suggesting free citizens in free countries can't make the intelligent choice to keep, buy, or sell any product thats placed on the market."

    Tell me how so many "free" citizens in a "free" country have done so much to destroy their own freedom with all of the anti-terrorist laws the US has passed? To really believe we are free is to buy into propaganda BS that created this country in the first place.

    Problem with Americans is they are so Ethno-centric they can't even critically look at their own rights and freedoms and logically compare them with other modern industrialized nations. We are not on top anymore and haven't been since the 50's.

    "Go get an education, and liberal-artsy History, English, Journalism, etc doesn't count."

    Yeah I know, having a knowledge of real history could never let you in on how the world really works. And those science degrees teach you soooo much about politics (excluding poli-sci of course :)!

     

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  25.  
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    GrizBear, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Monopoly by MS

    As always everybody just repeats what everyone else is saying in their own words.

    Americans are sheep!!!! IT IS AN American company, no?

    The fact that they get charged over and over for the bad coding at MS and plugging holes in MS just to get another upgrade that fills 3000 holes but opens 6000 new ones.

    But the worst of it all is the fact that MS manipulates the distribution channel and chastises all those that sell other OS on their boxes and threats that if they do not stop they will not get any more MS products does not seem to matter to the public either.

    Monopoly? What monopoly, we love to be chased by the big bad wolf.

    And besides, where do you think Billy boys gets all his money from????? Sheep.....and lazy bums that's where.

    Nag as much as you want, there is a choice out there, but being blinded by all the bells and whistles from MS is sad.

    That means, I have a Rolls for you, but I won't tell you it has an VW engine in it.

    What ever happened to educated people????

     

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  26.  
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    Xer0, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: What's that sound like?

    Please stay on Topic here. Whats that got to do with Vista and the EU?

     

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  27.  
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    JJ, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 3:12pm

    MS is not so bad

    I don't think MS is nearly as bad as the companies that go after it.

    I think it is great that Microsoft wants to put a document editor in their operating system. This would be a great complimentary tool, that can make the OS easier to use.

    Tools that should be part of an OS are maintenance tools and multimedia tools. Maintenance tools would include a disk defragmenter, antivirus, antispyware, firwall... Multimedia tools should include viewers and editors, so that the user can view and modify the multimedia if necessary.

    As far as I am concerned: Adobe and Symantec are evil for their own reasons.

    Symantec's only purpose in life is to fix MS problems. They then cry when MS tries to fix it's problems itself.

    Microsoft may be technically a monopoly, but unlike other monopolies, people are not forced to choose it. There are plenty of alternatives. There is no exact alternative to a cable company, electric company, gas company, phone company as people have no choice. These companies with monopolized infrastructures are the ones that need to be regulated. Microsoft does not need to be regulated like a monopoly because it's market dominance is due to people favoring the product over it's alternatives.

     

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  28.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 28th, 2007 @ 9:30pm

    n00bs

    the problem is not those who know about alternaltives but who choose not to use them, it is those who do not know about them, and who work on the assumption that M$ is the only worhtwhile option. In my old school, FireFox was installed on some computers as the default browser, and the number of people who came and asked what the point of it was, since here was no way a browser could be any better or worse than IE.

    I must say that office 2k7 seems a lot better than 2k3, although I have only seen Excel, which is the most usefull of the Office apps. Thunderbird can replace outlook, and LaTeX is far superior to any word prcessor (but look how few people have heard of LaTeX). On the other hand, Vista is likely to be the most unsucessfull windows version, comparing only to the Zune and M$ Bob as flops.

     

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  29.  
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    Wizard Prang, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 7:16am

    Bad Examples

    can you imagine sony, pioneer or some other car stereo maker taking GM to court complaining that they are not fair in only offering one brand of stereo in their cars as sold on the lot

    You usually have the option to purchase the car without a stereo; sometimes you can pocket the savings. Or you can pull the standard-sized stereo out and replace it with another one that uses a standard connector. Would you buy a car that has a stereo that is welded to the chassis? Oh, and the car will not work properly if it is removed. And if you want to use another stereo you have to splice it into the system... that's a better analogy for what we have here.


    back in the days of win 3.1, almost every system you bought had ms works on it. did that stop people from buying word or wordperfect, no. why because they were better products and were worth it.

    People upgraded from Works to Word/WP either for missing functionality or because that was what they were used to and they wanted something familiar. Most people do NOT upgrade their browsers or media players for precisely the same reason. I use Firefox because it is more powerful and versatile than IE6, but now that I am used to it I am reluctant to embrace IE7 for that and other reasons, which I will not go into here.


    adobe pdf's are a standard but adobe has done little to improve it. i went to download acrobat reader and it is 27mb. BLOATED WASTE OF DRIVE SPACE

    I agree! But there's a double standard at work here; you complain about Adobe's bloat (20.8MB, not 27), and yet choose not to complain about IE7 (which starts at nearly 15MB and presumably goes up from there) and Windows Media Player which weighs in at 23MB (double the size of its predecessor) Where I have a choice, I still use WMP 6.4, which is a 3.5MB Download. In both cases the reason for bloat is feature creep (if there are no new features there is, after all, no new need for a new product) and your friend and mine, DRM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 9:53am

    Competition

    OK so there are alternatives that can be easily downloaded. So say I get FireFox, How do I get rid of IE? Thunderbird, or even the full outlook, how do I get rid of outlook express? Winamp, get rid of media player. The problem is that even if you choose the alternatives the originals are still there and taking up space. The security holes are still there.

    My point is Microsoft should remove these from the OS and allow them to be downloaded if the user chooses. Adobe may be going for this and using the only thing they have at there disposal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Monopoly or Monopolistic?

    There is a difference between a Monopoly in the dictionary definition, and a Monopolist (behavior). You seem to be using the two terms interchangeably.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 4:29pm

    WMP + Vista

    From what I heard, Vista has one even worse feature, and that is that DRM'd files can only be played using a trusted (i.e. M$) player bulit in to the OS, and that all the "player" that you use can do is act as a front-end, and video likewise. This is clearly a problem, and Nullsoft should try to take M$ to court over this.

    BTW, Nullsoft is actually the maker of Winamp, not a name I just made up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Sox1932, Jan 31st, 2007 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Maybe

    Hear Hear! The more Governments, organisations, and individuals, stand up against blatent monopalisation the better. Without clear leadership from those who have the power to make a dent in monopalist opperaters such as M.S. no one else stands much of a chance of being anything more than a token moaner, with no knowledge of the choices available.
    How can any one offer real alternatives that are likely to be taken up in significant enough numbers to make a difference, if a monopoly is allowed to lock them out by those who can, or will not see the nose in front of their face?
    I the case of M.S. i for one will never find my self able to trust there concept of "security", to give one example of why real competion must be allowed in to their system. Not the neutred or bought out ideas shipped to improve "Enhance Custemer Experience" at the expence of rendering any thing but purpose built D.R.M. ridden hardware redudent, for that will be the ultimate result i fear.
    I know my grammer and spelling is poor, so please let us not get side tracked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    J-M Vella, May 26th, 2007 @ 8:40am

    Re: There are many alternatives

    LitePC is a very poorly run company. I have had nothing but problems dealing with it. I made the mistake of buying three licenses because of good reviews from others. I would not do business with them ever again. There are better options, apparently, though I have not yet checked them out.

    After I paid for the software, it took over two weeks to get it working due to bugs in the site. After many apologies, they finally delivered. After I used the software, it created one problem I was not able to deal with. I recently decided to retry, and again there were many problems dealing with their site. (It required that I re-validate my license online, but the site was down. When it was available, it said the license code they gave me was invalid. Unable to contact their support. FAQs said they were suspending support for the product while they work on another one....)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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